As recently as last summer, we’ve seen egregious attempts to exploit a legal flaw in Rhode Island to push for the development of the state’s first high fence captive big game hunting facility. This proposal threatens our fair chase hunting traditions and could facilitate the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into Rhode Island’s native whitetail deer population. The proposal would also allow for the importation of wild pigs and hogs for captive hunting, a family of animals that is notoriously difficult to keep in enclosures. The establishment of a feral hog population would be catastrophic for Rhode Island’s native wildlife and ecosystem.
Thankfully, a bill has been introduced in the Rhode Island legislature to prohibit the importation of non-native and domestic animals for use in canned hunting and help prevent Chronic Wasting Disease from being introduced in Rhode Island. While not perfect, the New England Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers supports the intent of H5130 and has submitted a letter recommending legislators help advance a modified version of this bill.
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